James was just five years old when made his debut in the kitchen! His father ran the catering at the historic stately home, Castle Howard, and, by the age of 12, the young Yorkshire lad had already cooked for the Queen Mother.
At 16, he went to Scarborough Technical College to learn his trade, where he was Student of the Year for three years running.
Anthony Worrall Thompson spotted him during this time and brought him to London to work in the kitchens of celebrated restaurants 190 Queensgate and dell’Ugo. He then headed to France in an old transit van with several other students, where he spent some time working in traditional châteaux. On his return to England, he worked at luxury hotel Chewton Glen in Hampshire for 2 years.
At 21, James opened the Hotel and Bistro du Vin in Winchester as Head Chef. Mixing Modern British with Mediterranean, James’ restaurant became a huge success.
In 1996, James began what has been an extensive TV career. He soon became a favourite, regularly appearing on such shows as Ready Steady Cook, Junior MasterChef and Light Lunch. After stints co-presenting Good Food Live, he hosted UKTV series Deck Dates, Sweet, Delicious, Yorkshire’s Finest and James Martin Digs Deep.
With a long list of TV credits to his name, James has often stepped beyond the kitchens, most suprisingly perhaps, to prove his dancing prowess in Strictly Come Dancing. His latest series sees James revisiting his student days in the villages of Brittany, France, in James Martin’s Brittany.
James has written for magazines and has a long bibliography to his name. Far from being a one-trick pony, he was once voted one of Britain’s most eligible bachelors by Company magazine!
James describes his cooking as “Modern British with a hint of Mediterranean”. His flavours are simple and direct, and his combinations are interesting, such as honey-roast duck with a mango, coriander and chilli salsa or half a deep-fried lobster with harissa crême fraîche.
Bibliography James Martin’s Great British Dinners, Mitchell Beazley, 2002 Delicious: The Deli Cookbook, Mitchell Beazley, 2002 Eating in with James Martin, Mitchell Beazley, 2004 James Martin’s Great British Winter, Mitchell Beazley, 2006 Easy British Food, Mitchell Beazley, 2006 Desserts, Quadrille Publishing Ltd, 2007 The Collection, Mitchell Beazley, 2008
For more information about James Martin click here: http://www.jamesmartinchef.co.uk